APEGGA members and permit holders play critical roles in
helping Alberta and the world develop an environmentally
sustainable economy. Once again, the list of winners in the
Emerald Awards makes that connection very apparent.
Winners in the 13th annual awards of the Alberta Emerald
Foundation for Environmental Excellence were honoured at
a gala event in Edmonton June 9. This year, four members
and permit holders are named in the awards, and that doesn’t
include the many others working behind the scenes.
A foundation established in 1997 to literally spread the
light was recognized in the not-for-profit association category.
Light Up the World is dedicated to bringing affordable, safe,
long-term and environmentally sustainable home lighting solutions
to the one third of humanity living in virtual darkness after
Light Up the World was established in 1997 by member Dave
Irvine-Halliday, P.Eng., PhD. Since its inception, the foundation
has illuminated the lives of some 20,000 people in Nepal,
Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, Mexico, the Dominican
Republic and other countries. APEGGA honoured Light Up the
World and Dr. Irvine-Halliday with a Summit Award® in
Alberta’s two largest municipalities, both APEGGA permit
holders, received Emeralds as well – the City of Edmonton
for its waste management branch’s public education
programs, and the City of Calgary for its corporate ISO 14001
Environmental Management System.
Edmonton, which won in the education, other organization
category, has made public education an integral part of its
30-year waste management strategy. The strategy builds upon
Edmontonians’ support of the 4Rs – reduce, reuse,
recycle, recover – and fosters participation in environmentally
sustainable waste handling practices.
The branch uses “a creative blend of public education
designed to enhance awareness, break down barriers and lead
to behavioural change,” says an Emerald Awards backgrounder.
The strategy appears to be paying off, with Edmonton boasting
some of North America’s highest participation rates
in residential recycling, proper household hazardous waste
disposal and composting.
The City of Calgary’s Emerald Award is under the government
institutions category. Just how committed is Calgary to becoming
an environmentally sustainable community?
The Emerald backgrounder notes that Calgary is providing
the leadership to conserve, protect and improve the environment
for Calgary and its regional community through the implementation
of a corporate-wide environmental management system. The
system is ISO 14001 registered – making it the first
North American city to achieve a corporate-wide registration
to the highest international standard.
The city’s environmental management system provides
a foundation for continual improvement through measurable
goals, monitoring and reporting, and provides a sustainability
framework. Sustainability initiatives include triple bottom-line
decision-making, partnering with the business community,
engaging citizens, and involving the city with national and
In the large business category, the Hinton division of Weldwood
Canada Ltd. was awarded for its Special Places in the Forest
program. Weldwood identifies areas within its forests that
need protection or special management.
Values are attached to the places, based on wildlife, recreation,
education, geology, and cultural and historical significance.
Says the Emeralds backgrounder: “This ongoing program
far exceeds legislative requirements and includes a system
for the public to nominate additional sites.”
• Founded in 1991 by McLellan
Ross LLP, the Alberta Government and Deloitte & Touche
to recognize outstanding initiative and leadership
Albertans were demonstrating in the face of environmental
• Awards program created to celebrate Albertans’ environmental achievements
• Foundation has encouraged individuals, corporations and other groups
and organizations to participate for the last 13 years
• Each year an independent panel of judges reviews about 100 nominations
Becky Vander Steen